The Fantastic Voyage!
The Fantastic Voyage is the name Bike Forums poster "guybierhaus" gives to his yearly organized ride in historic Oley Township, near Reading, Pennsylvania. This year's ride featured two courses, an 8 mile short route and a 17.35 mile tour of this land of running streams, old barns and working farms, historic churches, covered bridges, and a terrain that's a lot less hilly than most of the Southeastern Pennsylvania countryside.
Three people elected for the long route; Guy, a friend of his named John, and I. Here's John and Guy at the midpoint of the ride:
John rode a vintage Motobecane bike, complete with the "made in France" stamp on the chainstay.
I hope John's bike enjoyed the view as much as I did.
Two glorious churches side by side - UCC and Lutheran - each a wonder in its own right. Oley Township had itself declared a National Historic District to save the land from development, and the churches are merely a small symbol of what was saved by doing so. Incidentally, while I passed the churches on the ride, I didn't stop for photos then, but went back afterwards.
"One short sleep past, we wake eternally...." While looking at the graveyard in Salem UCC, I was moved by the sight of this headstone for a child taken far too soon.
Turning away from the churches, one is back into farm country.
After the ride was complete, we all gathered for lunch at the Bridge Inn in Pleasantville. After a hearty meal, the Fantastic Voyage ended for another year. But we will be back, as long as Guy keeps organizing them.